EzDebate is challenging each candidate to answer questions for their constituents. We will be posting the recorded answers so voters can view them.
My name is Henry Kneitz, I live in Draper and work full time. Married to Miraluna from the Philippines for over 6 years. I have two grown awesome children! I and many relatives have served in various capacities in the military.
I fell in love with Utah when my son was stationed at Hill Air force base. When my company needed someone to represent them in Utah I immediately volunteered to go. I hope this bio will help to explain some of my thinking as well as my background.
I was born in South Carolina and raised in Illinois. At a very young age I chose the Republican Party. A couple of years before that I chose Jesus Christ or He chose me, probably both. I have not been a politician. I plan to remain an ordinary citizen doing an extraordinary job if I am hired by you.
We need to have respect for one another, the presidency, other offices and office holders. As a pastor once said, “We can disagree without being disagreeable”. I may not agree with someone about everything but we can find out the reasons for the differences and go from there.
Why I am running:The political processes in the country have divided us as we have not seen in decades. I believe it is, in part, because we do not have a common understanding of the constitution, the amendments and other supporting documents.
Making statements and taking advantage of issues real or exaggerated to raise money, get elected, acquire more power, and keep power has been a problem. Also:
Some have interpreted the constitution in ways it was not meant to be interpreted. They have found things which are not there. For decades the country has been expanding upon the original intent of the constitution and the amendments.
We are guaranteed “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. We are not spend our lives taking liberties with the constitution in the pursuit of happiness!
Romans 13:1 let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Mel is a long time political activist from Provo, Utah. For 20 years, she has been paying close attention to local politics -- attending meetings, reading reports, writing editorials, researching issues, lobbying for causes, campaigning for office, and advocating for people.
In her life, she has voted for Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, but she joined the United Utah Party, a reform movement of moderate centrists; because she believes that America needs to reject extreme partisanship and return to a strong center.
Born in Utah, Mel moved around the country as her father pursued an academic career as a professor of Social Work. Her mother, brother, and sister were all social workers. Her life reflects an inherited sensibility to put people first.
Educated at the University of Wisconsin, and later at BYU, she is, unfortunately, a college drop-out, leaving school to raise her family. She has been married to Stoney McCoard for 42 years, and says of him “He’s the finest man I know.” Stoney and Mel have three daughters and six grandchildren, whom she sees often. Of them, she says, “These little people are my favorite things.”
Mel has a wide and varied resume. While her children were home, she was a stay-at-home-mom, but took many opportunities for volunteer service -- in PTA, Girl Scouts, the LDS church, the city’s neighborhood program, and various charities. She has trained as a midwife, started her own puppetry business, written for a local newspaper, developed property, built a subdivision, and tended people, old and young. Of her colorful past, Mel says, “My talents are small, but my interests are many.”
Mel is a member of the Utah Valley Earth Forum and HEAL Utah, the clean air advocates, as well as MWEG, Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Her spare time is spent helping with her grandchildren, and playing den mother to a lively group of Cub Scouts.
Mel is a fixture in Provo politics. It is the passion that has held her attention. She has been called a “highly-engaged citizen”, a “watchdog”, and even a “political gadfly -- always around and very annoying.” But she serves her community as the keeper of its institutional memory, reminding the Council and administration of the history and purpose behind each city action.
Mel claims as her gifts a keen intellect, a valued moral foundation, and a bold personality. Like her mother, and her grandmother, she is “one tough old lady.” But her compassion for people is paramount, her fierce commitment to what is right is unquestioned, and her desire to serve the people of Utah is genuine.
I should tell you a little about my experience and my educational background, as well as other important things about me and my faith.
When I was 13, my father’s employment took me to Spain for 1.5 years. My adult employment experience has caused me to reside in Australia, Wales (United Kingdom), and Canada for significant periods of time. Both at home and abroad, I have been blessed to feel of God’s love for all of His children everywhere. I also have come to believe that the American Constitutional System is the best in the world, but we must not take it for granted; it is a heritage that we may choose to pass along to the next generation . . . or allow to die.
My political experience includes the following:
Like any organization consisting of imperfect humans, I believe Utah GrassRoots has had its imperfections. But I am pleased with our efforts over the years (since 1992) to analyze legislative proposals, and to inform delegates and other voters about these proposals and about their state legislators’ voting records with respect to these proposals. I believe our efforts (along with the efforts of many other involved citizens) have been helpful in preserving a degree of transparent, representative government in Utah.
My educational background:
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. As a college student, and in my practice as an engineer and research scientist, I have had much opportunity to ponder on the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, and how best to live and work under these eternal Laws. As we understand these Laws and “do our homework”, we are able to build better roads and bridges and factories and computers, cultivate more productive farms and gardens, and better succeed in every worthwhile line of endeavor.
Going back to my 9th grade Geometry class (where we had to do numerous logical “proofs”), I have believed in the importance of frequent recurrence to first principles, of understanding our core assumptions, and even questioning our assumptions as needed. I have some mathematical talent and interest, and this might partially explain my interest in our out-of-control borrowing-and-spending situation. (Not that it takes a mathematical genius to figure out that we have a serious problem.)
Informally and on my own time, I have been a student of government and politics over the years, and have especially been interested in the history and substance of our Declaration of Independence, and of the United States Constitution. I believe the US Constitution is a heavenly banner giving us valuable instruction about how to enjoy freedom and prosperity under the unbreakable Laws of Nature.
Other important things about me and my faith:
I believe in the central place of faith in our lives. Our faith (or lack or shortage thereof) ultimately motivates us to do what we do. Some people believe that faith and science are different things. But in my professional work as an engineer, I regularly need to act on my faith in various principles and equations of chemistry and physics that have been taught to me. Elsewhere on this website, I have tried to share a little bit about my political faith.
I believe our most important activities relate to building strong moral character, and strong, loving, happy families. Government cannot do this for us, but we should try to avoid government policies that undermine morality and the family unit. I frequently fall short, and should do better, but I try and hope to be a moral person, and a good husband and father.
I believe in praying for our leaders in government, including President Trump and Congressman Curtis, that they may be guided to do what is best for our country. I also pray that we the people will do our part to encourage our leaders to do what is right. Being a candidate for office is challenging, and a little scary, to me. I will try to be accurate in all that I say. Please feel free to correct me if you believe I say anything inaccurate. And please forgive my shortcomings. (Of course, forgiveness does not equal earning your vote.)